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Oct 12 | AIASMC Home Tour 2019

The AIA San Mateo County Home Tour is an open house event, providing unique access to a single contemporary residence showcasing contextual and innovative architecture located in the San Mateo County. This year, we’ve partnered with AIA San Francisco, and are please to announce the 2019 Home Tour will take place on Saturday October 12 at Vidalakis House in Portola Valley, designed by Swatt | Miers Architects. Come and meet the design team! Owner Nicole Vidalakis together with architects Bob Swatt, FAIA and Miya Muraki, AIA will partake in an insightful discussion of the design and construction process, followed by a brief Q&A session.

1PM – 3PM | VIP Tour & Panel Discussion | $60 | 2 LU approved

3PM – 4PM | Self Guided Tour | $40 | 1 LU approved

 NOTE: All attendees must be 18 or older. Please park along the street and carpool as parking is limited. 

VIP Tickets and Self Guided Tour Tickets still available.

This distinctive residence was designed as a piece of inhabitable art for its owner, an avid collector of colorful and unique works.  The design features three stepped-back stories linked by a grand mahogany staircase and a double-height glass pavilion overlooking the semi-rural landscape on three sides.

The client had contemplated building her dream house for years before finding the perfect site in Portola Valley, a semi-rural enclave south of San Francisco.  The 3.8-acre site is a beautiful, gently sloping parcel, with mature oak, cedar and pine trees sufficiently dense to provide privacy from neighboring houses yet open enough to afford beautiful views of the surrounding hills as well as of distant San Francisco.  Her design requirements included open planning for interior spaces, zoning of functions to provide a clear separation between public and private spaces, maximization of views to San Francisco to the north, and a strong relationship between building and landscape.

The resulting design is based on an L-shaped plan, anchored by a three-story, linear cast-in-place concrete wall that projects into the landscape to frame outdoor spaces on both sides of the house.  Main public functions are housed on the lower level, while the master suite and a home office are located on the floors above.  The short leg includes a one-story home office and a detached garage and guesthouse.  The plan organization creates two major outdoor areas: a private landscaped courtyard on the south side, and a more public viewing terrace on the north.  Perpendicular to the house and topography, a 75-foot swimming pool, wood deck, and rectangular lawn define the western edge of the landscape with precise geometry.

A stand-alone art studio pavilion is located to the east of the main house, on direct axis with the main entrance.  Placed on the east side of a cast-in-place concrete wall, this pavilion is virtually invisible as the concrete wall appears to simply be a background for art.

The architectural language is simple, almost elemental.  Horizontal wood planes form the floors and roofs, in counterpoint to the vertical cast-in-place concrete core, and are in-filled with full-height glazing to maximize views.  A rhythmic three-story window wall defines the circulation spine and stair, and forms one edge of a private landscaped courtyard on the south side of the house.  The main living space is two stories high and almost entirely transparent, with views of the valley in three directions.

Photographs by Russell Abraham



Contact Jackie Tanner
AIASMC Executive Director
exec@aiasmc.org | 650-348-5133

Sponsorship: Libby Raab, AIA





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